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UK Nature  > Hoverflies  > Volucella inanis

  • Female Volucella inanis
  • Female head in close-up
  • Male Volucella inanis, feeding on echinops (globe thistle)

Scientific Name:   Volucella inanis
Common Name:   N/A

Volucella inanis is one of only two large, hornet mimicking hoverfly species with orangey-yellow and black banded abdomens, and V. inanis differs from V. zonaria in that tergite 2, scutellum and the pale areas on the thorassic dorsum are yellow rather than chestnut coloured.

The most compelling identifier is that tergite 2 is yellow in V.inanis. The top of the thorax usually has black stripes which are often fused. V. inanis is also a smaller species, wing length 12.25 - 14.25mm. Found in flower meadows, roadside verges and hedgerows from June to September, peaking in early August.

Previously found mainly around London, it has been steadily expanding its range northwards and its range now reaches a line from the Wash to the Severn, although even in this area it is quite local, and infrequent much of the time.
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